Qatar to offer 20% subsidy on flour


Qatar plans to increase the subsidy on flour used to bake traditional Arabic bread by as much as 20 per cent to control prices as the Gulf state tackles near-record inflation, a newspaper reported on Monday.

Bakeries in Qatar will be able to buy a 50 kilogramme bag of wheat-flour for 28.80 riyals ($7.92), down from 36 riyals, beginning on Tuesday, the daily Peninsula reported, citing a Ministry of Finance decision.

The subsidy would allow bakeries to keep the price of a loaf of bread at 1 riyal and would apply for a year, the paper said. The price of wheat has more than doubled during the past year.

Inflation in Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, hit 13.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, close to a record.

Like most other Gulf Arab oil producers, Qatar pegs its currency to the dollar, which sank to record lows against the euro this month, driving up import costs.

Qatar was considering subsidies on some commodities as part of efforts to fight inflation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani said in comments published by Al Sharq newspaper in February. (Reuters)